Author Topic: Another starter tomme  (Read 403 times)

Offline Red Mountain

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Another starter tomme
« on: March 25, 2013, 11:02:05 PM »
Hey, everyone--
I made my first tomme yesterday using Linuxboy's formula-- it has been drying out for the last 24 hours, and will go for another couple of days before it goes into the fridge. So far, no problems with the drying: I put it into the oven last night with the door about 1/3 ajar for air flow, with a pan of water and a scrunched-up J-cloth to get the humidity up to speed (local humidity was at 8% this morning).  The main difficulty, as you'll see below, was that it looks like it didn't knit enough--I was appalled at the messy look of the sides this morning, as well as the cheesecloth fold marks--and then I realized I'd had gone silly with the recipe. It was supposed to be pressed with the same weight as the curd (right?!), but for some reason I pressed it with what I projected to be the end weight of the curd, i.e. one gallon milk = 1 lb. (until we get our cave fridge rigged up, I'm limited to a teeny wine fridge, so it's all really small batch).  So I reckon I pressed it with only barely half the weight it should have had....and the pH was at 5.4 after six hours, not eight....so it got shortchanged there too. The finished weight this morning was actually 570 g/20 oz. Oh dear.....

My plan is to give it an oiled rind, with olive oil and dried herbs--but considering the mistakes I made with the make, if that's not a good idea (Too many crannies for mold to hide? Paste terminally too wet? Or something else I don't know to look for?) please give me a heads-up!

Thanks, all! --Monday morning evidence below:


Serenity is earned.


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Offline Tiarella

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Re: Another starter tomme
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2013, 06:56:01 AM »
Hi there!  I wonder what type of milk you used (species, raw,UP, homogenized). Do you have any cheese matting to help it sit on the rack without sinking down in between the cross pieces?  it reminds of the Tomme I made a few days ago and posted about on the problems/questions board under a thread title something like, "Why are my winter cheeses so soft?". Check that thread out.  There are some recommendations for how to rid it of excess moisture and aging time and some ideas for how to prevent it happening on the next batch.  When it's as dry as it's going to get I think oiling might be a good preventative strike against mold.  Filling the crevices with oil might help.  The dried herbs might bring along their own molds so it probably wouldn't be my choice but experiments are good! 

Offline Red Mountain

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Re: Another starter tomme
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2013, 09:23:07 PM »
Tiarella, thanks for the lead on your previous thread!

The milk was pasteurized, non-homogenized full-fat cow's milk from Strauss Creamery in CA; and yes, I picked up some matting on the way home Monday evening, it's now sitting pretty on a proper surface--also raised about four inches higher for better circulation.

Reading your winter cheese thread, I've realized another issue: too much rennet. The flocculation time was 40 1/2 minutes (13 1/2 x  3), instead of the target 45, and I made the note to use less next time (this make had 6 drops of Marzyme double-strength rennet).  The curd was also nice and firm: probably too firm, it appears.

I take your and Sailor's points about handling the rind; I had in mind the Tornegus wine-washed rind with herbs, using oil instead, but of course the alcohol would help keep any herb molds in line.  So this shall be a simple oiled rind, and the cheese will tell me what it wants to be without any outside help....

It's fascinating, really--we used to own a hand-made dessert company, and every spring we would have an awful time with the cream cheese: cheesecakes would be too soft, not set properly, a consistency nightmare for about 4-6 weeks.  We thought it was to do with the animals' move from barn to field, fodder to grass, but we never knew for sure.  It's really good to get some ideas why, even after all this time!

Thanks again!
Serenity is earned.